January 9, 2019 Cannibals and Carpet Fitters (Movie Review)
Based on the award-winning short film of the same name, the British Horror Comedy Cannibals and Carpet Fitters is a gruesome thrill ride fit to satisfy the audience’s craving for gore. Featured at several film festivals in 2017 and 2018, now the James Bushe (Blackout 2012, Predator Dark Ages 2015) directed film makes its way on DVD in the U.S. as of Tuesday, January 15, 2019 through Blue Fox Entertainment.
If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Cupid Carpet’s owner Nigel (Tony Nyland: TwentyFourSeven 1997, Mike Bassett: England Manager 2001) has landed a job that could save his family business: outfitting Mrs. Hanning’s huge country mansion. However, this job could prove to be their last. Mrs. Hanning (Jenny Stokes: Justice Squad 2012, You, Me and Him 2017) and her sons are savage, relentless cannibals. An oblivious Nigel assigns his best and brightest, Tasha (Zara Pythian: Doctor Strange 2016, Morgan 2016) and Chris (Christopher Whitlow: Inside Number 9 series, Assassin’s Creed 2016), to this lucrative job.
Nigel also sends his B-team, Colin (Darren Sean Enright: Blackout 2012, Cockneys Vs Zombies 2012) and Dean (Richard Lee O’Donnell: The List 2013, International Men’s Day 2014), as back-up. Accompanied by their plucky trainee Malcolm (Dominic Holmes: Coronation Street 2007, Splintered 2010), these carpet fitters soon find themselves in a fight for their lives.
Opening with a Found-Footage prologue, campers Jack (Alex Zane: Rude Tube series, Zombie Spring Breakers 2016) and Gillian (Jessica-Jane Strafford: The Real Hustle series, Devil’s Tower 2014) wander onto the Hanning property located in the desolate countryside. This is the perfect intro to the film, as it shows the audience just enough to cultivate suspense without giving everything away. The viewer is introduced to the matriarch, Mrs. Hanning, and her sons, Edward (Mingus Johnston: Kingsman: Mission Impossible – Rogue Nation 2015, The Golden Circle 2017), William (Lee Charles: Dracula Untold 2014, Final Score 2018), Andrew (Darren Maffucci), and Harry (Grant Stevens: Street Fighter: Resurrection 2016, Retribution 2018). The Hanning boys have no lines yet are absolutely mesmerizing. They each have a different personality and know just how to work the camera.
The carpet fitters are split into two teams; Tasha and Chris are precise and athletic, while Colin and Dean are lazy and careless. However, it will take more than agility and a strong work ethic to fight off cannibals. Colin and Dean may not be the best workers, but they have each other’s back. Their “bromance” relationship is established early on in the film, and Enright and O’Donnell’s chemistry is undeniable. They may not rise up to the challenges of every day life, but they just might have what it takes to be heroes.
Cannibals and Carpet Fitters blends genres seamlessly by balancing classic Horror tropes with fresh, humorous beats. Moments of violence are interrupted by humor, and vice versa. The film does not take itself too seriously, but also never crosses into slapstick territory. It does not follow the typical rules for who lives and dies, which keeps the audience on their toes. For the most part, characters make realistic choices and there are very few face-palm moments.
As a Horror Comedy hybrid, Cannibals and Carpet Fitters is not exactly scary, but it does pack punches of gore and a number of startling jump scares. The special and practical effects would be impressive for any film, but are especially admirable considering its small, crowdfunded budget. The English countryside scenery is gorgeous and lush, with the Hanning mansion serving as a foreboding presence. Most of the film takes place in daylight instead of relying on darkness to evoke fear. Cannibals and Carpet Fitters is a fun, grotesque Horror-Comedy hybrid that keeps its audience guessing till the end. Just remember: carpet fitters do not cry! For all these reasons, Cryptic Rock gives this film 4 out of 5 stars.